We use our kitchens every day which means there are bound to be habits we can change to be more environmentally conscious. From the way we eat to the appliances we use on a day-to-day basis,  we've discovered a few simple and easy ways to go green in the kitchen.

1. Change Your Dishwasher Settings

There's no need to feel guilty about using your dishwasher. According to numerous studies, it actually uses less water than doing dishes by hand. However, if you're really trying to go green in the kitchen, you should only run a cycle when the dishwasher is full. Avoid using the rinse cycle if you can and choose air dry instead of heat dry.

It might sound simple enough but you essentially want to choose the cycle that uses the least amount of gallons of water per wash. If you're still not sure which cycle to choose, check your dishwasher's manual or the manufacturer's website for more information.

2. Buy Energy-Efficient Appliances

From wall-to-wall, kitchens are filled to the brim with energy-sucking appliances like dishwashers, microwaves, fridges, etc. If you haven't already, after each use, get in the habit of unplugging some of the appliances that don't need to be plugged in all of the time such as coffee machines and toasters. In doing so, you'll be saving energy and money on your next electric bill. In this case, it really does pay off to go green!

If your appliances are in need of an upgrade, many communities offer take-back programs that help you to properly dispose of old appliances which likely contain hazardous materials and chemicals. Once you're ready to shop for new products, look for appliances that have an Energy Star rating. And if you need a new fridge, go small. You'll save a lot of energy this way and probably won't waste as much food.

3. Go Green. Buy Local.

The food you bring into your kitchen is equally as important as your appliances and gadgets, so shop at green markets and buy local whenever you can. Opt for organic food and make an effort to eat less meat. There's a reason why the farm-to-table movement is all the rage right now – plus buying local is a great way to support your community's local agriculture.

Other ways to go green in the kitchen include recycling, composting, using reusable bags and towels, and buying in bulk (so that you don't have to make as many trips to the store). Ways to go green in the kitchen are endless, we just need to make a few simple changes to our everyday habits if we want to make an impact.

How do you save energy in the kitchen? Are there any green methods you recommend? We'd love to hear from you in the comments below.